Once again, we bused down to Terni, this time getting out near the train station where we had arrived a few days earlier from Rome. We walked pasted the train station and a huge 12,000 ton press retired from service and positioned prominently to remind the residents of their industrial past. Around the corner, we found ourselves in the bus terminus of Terni. We boarded the bus to Marmore Falls and the driver dropped us at the ticket office rather than the bus stop (the ticket office is in a non – descript industrial looking building 200 metres from the entrance to the Falls park). Fortunately, Roberto had been there before so we found our way easily.
The falls are fed by the waters from Piediluco della Largo and have been dammed to give control over the flow of the water for the purpose of the hydro power station in the valley below the falls. A wide and sealed path follows the rim of the valley into which the water falls empty and when we arrived the falls appeared a mere trickle.
We followed one of the paths (the longer path to the top of the falls was closed for construction) to the point where the lower falls merged and spilled into the valley below the walkway. Just as in the Michelangelo painting on the Cysteine Chapel, Roberto receives the phone from she who must be obeyed to take a photo.
When we returned to the valley floor we found a mossy and wet valley floor chill with the hanging moisture in the air.
All that was to change at 12.00 o’clock when the flood gates were opened and fortunately we were back on the path having lunch at a canteen with views of the falls. Even sitting 50 metres from the valley rim, we could feel the mist from the bloated falls (bloated with water released from the lake).
The weir was closed about 1.00 pm and the Falls slowly returned to their slumber until 12 noon tomorrow. We walked back to the ticket office to catch the bus finding the stop was opposite the entry to the Falls park. Then whilst waiting for the bus we were obscured from the oncoming bus by a parked car (Italians believe parking is a right and leave their cars wherever they choose) and but for my excited flagging of the bus driver we would still be there.
After an hour or so in Terni, our bus arrived to take us to Piediluco passing Papigno located on a small hill, at the height of 227 m above sea level, and has a population of 449 inhabitants. Pardon the photo this bus driver was equally excited driving around the hairy turns on the road to Piediluco. We also had some great views of Terni as we slid around corners.
After 20 minutes, we arrived at Piediluco. Crossing the bridge over one of the three rivers that empty into Lake Piediluco and driving through the town wedged between the hills and the lake’s edge, we dismounted at the furthest buildings of the village from where we could see another mountain top village backed by the peaks covered in snow (photo above). Our plan was to stroll along the lake’s edge taking in the village atmosphere.
Piediluco is part of the town of Terni. Located at 375 m above sea level, the village is inhabited by 523 residents. It stands directly on its namesakes lake that feeds the waters of the river Velino, and the Marmore Falls. Archaeological excavations in the area have found the remains of settlements dating back to the late Bronze Age. It was later conquered by the Sabines and, from the middle of the third century BC, it passed to the Romans.
We could see the ruins of Castello de Luco (from the Latin Lucus sacred grove on the top of Mount della Rocca, ). A document dated 1028 mentions Castello de Luco, as a possession of Lord Bernard D’Arrochar. La Rocca was characterized by a square tower of which only ruins now remain. The city of Piediluco was abolished in 1927 (merged by Royal Decree-Law with the municipality of Terni) but the Coat of arms of the city of Piediluco still remains on the face of the municipal building. See the featured image.
We had lunch at the Ristorante Eco on the lakes edge. Note the tree in the restaurant and its decapitation above. Not the most memorable meal but lovely atmosphere and out of the wind and cold. After lunch, we continued our walk and I noticed a steel garage door adapted to dispense cigarettes – novel!
About 3.00 pm we caught the bus back to Terni with Roberto promising the best pastry shop Carletti’s would be the next stop. Of course, this involved some walking but give him credit it was good pastry. Now quite full of food we walked back to the centre of Terni where I sought out some of the few remaining old buildings of Terni including the Porta d’Angeli (the gate of Angels) one of the few remnants of its past. Amongst the remnants, I found one of Italy’s similarities with China – the converted motor bike.